Testing through play

An entire New York City public school classroom has been transformed into a fantasy cityscape, with skyscrapers made of cardboard boxes. There’s a Statue of Liberty, an Empire State Building, a Flatiron Building, a Lincoln Tunnel, even a Roosevelt Island tram made of string, with a car held on with binder clips. The sixth graders are […]


8 Ed-Tech Predictions for 2014, Part 2

This is the second part of a two-part post on Ed-Tech predictions for 2014. The first part is found here. I called up Dr. Jeff Borden, Vice President of Instruction & Academic Strategy and Director for the Center for Online Learning at Pearson to talk about what he’s seeing on the horizon for 2014. 5) Tablets: More schools will adopt […]


8 Ed-Tech Predictions for 2014, Part 1

What will the coming year bring in educational innovation? Will trends like gamification, neuroeducation, and iPads get even bigger or fade away entirely? To get an outside opinion of what’s on the horizon, I called up Dr. Jeff Borden, Vice President of Instruction & Academic Strategy and Director for the Center for Online Learning at Pearson. The largest education […]


The Top 10 Digital/Edu Stories of 2013

I took over this blog in March 2013 and it’s been an incredibly enjoyable–and educational!–experience so far. Thanks to all of you who have read, linked, and commented on the blog. I hope you’ll stay with us into 2014! At the suggestion of my editors at the Hechinger Report, I’ve compiled a list of the […]


An ‘Hour of Code’ in one classroom

Melissa Loftis is a third-grade coteacher at Albemarle Road Elementary in Charlotte, NC. Her class of 40 includes many English language learners, some from Salvador and Mexico, others refugees from Nepal, Burma and Congo resettled in the area by Catholic charities. This week her students are among ten million (and counting) around the country participating in […]


Is this the worst toy of 2013?

Yesterday, the iPotty, a potty seat that comes with an iPad holder (“Parents can give children a comfortable and fun place to learn to use the potty with the child-friendly iPotty from CTA Digital,” claims the marketing material), was voted the worst toy of 2013 in a parent poll sponsored by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free […]


Can Boundless finally end the paper textbook?

It’s 2013. Ebooks have been around since  1971.  Yet tens of millions of students in kindergarten through college are still hauling around piles of heavy, quickly outdated paper textbooks that cost anywhere from $30-$200 per subject, per student. Open educational resources provide a free digital alternative to traditional books. Boundless, a startup that’s two and a half […]


Could a video game replace ADD medication?

In America, 6.4 million children have been given diagnoses of attention disorders. That’s 11 percent of the school-age population.  Annual production of Ritalin-like drugs has quadrupled since the 1960s, and millions of children are taking these powerful stimulants every day. Some argue that this “epidemic” is in fact an artifact of a test-driven, high-stakes, high-pressure school […]


Bodies in Space: Blended Learning and the 3-D Environment

I listened to a presentation today by the, well, brilliant Annie Murphy Paul on her new book Brilliant: The Science of How We Get Smarter. While you can read more on her blog, a big theme of the book is the idea that cognitive performance is situational. Everything from our physical environment, to how much sleep […]


MakerBot Academy: A 3-D Printer In Every Classroom

    A MakerBot is a tabletop-sized device that takes digital designs and builds them in the real world, layer by thin layer, out of a plastic-like roll of filament derived from corn. You can create or customize any design you can think of– a working prosthetic hand, or a scale model of the Eiffel […]